There’s no summer getaway quite like an island escape. Stay close to home or venture that little bit further away with these ideas for your next island vacation.
Stradbroke Island, Queensland
It’s known to locals as “Straddie”, and it’s one of few places near Brisbane where you truly feel like you’ve escaped from the hustle and bustle of life in the city – time slows from a sprint to a leisurely stroll as soon as you set foot on the barge. Picture rocky headlands and sprawling beaches, best viewed from the North Gorge Walk that winds around the gorges, as well as inland sand dunes and lakes. And while you’re there, keep an eye out for turtles, dolphins and migrating whales – oh, and what is arguably the best gelati outside of Italy.
The Whitsunday Islands, Queensland
They’re Queensland’s pride and joy, bringing tourists from all over the world to its white beaches and aqua waters. Whether you explore the Whitsundays by boat, foot or seaplane, we’re sure you’ll agree – they’re truly magical. With 74 islands to choose from, and abundant natural wonders to be found on each one, you’ll find it hard to say goodbye to the Whitsundays no matter how long you stay there for.
Orpheus Island, Queensland
Do you dream of swimming in a pool that feels like it stretches on forever? Of a place that delivers the Great Barrier Reef right to your doorstep? Orpheus Island offers all that and more. The luxury private island lodge is the most exclusive address on the reef, hosting just 28 people at a time but promising the best dining, unwinding and undersea exploring.
Lord Howe Island, New South Whales
With a tagline like ‘Just Paradise’, you might fear that Lord Howe Island couldn’t quite live up to the hype. But, with its crystal-clear waters, towering green cliffs and abundance of things to do – whether it’s meeting the native wildlife, indulging in a massage or gourmet dinner or exploring by foot or flipper – you’ll realise that Lord Howe Island’s ‘Just Paradise’ label is absolutely fitting.
Phillip Island, Victoria
A must-do when visiting Victoria, Phillip Island offers the ultimate seaside escape just a few hours from Melbourne. The quiet townships have everything you need to relax and rediscover your passions, including picturesque golf courses, day spas and historic sites that feel frozen in time. Get a taste for history at the Churchill Island Heritage Farm, or head to Nobbies Centre, which is home to Australia’s largest Australian fur seal colony. With whale watching and koalas, birds and wallabies aplenty, Phillip Island is nature’s playground – and it could be yours, too.
Kangaroo Island, South Australia
Protected nature reserves make up over a third of Kangaroo Island, and the remainder somehow packs in enough art, culture, food, wine and shopping to promise you’ll experience something brand new every day. Whether you’re scanning the treetops for koalas or exploring caves, diving deep into the history of the island or snorkelling the shipwreck trail, there’s something to do and see around every turn.
Rottnest Island, Western Australia
With its abundant walking tracks, stunning snorkelling spots and unique population of small, furry residents, Rottnest Island is a natural wonder all year ‘round. Explore the sandy dunes, the beaches and the bays, coming into contact with the unique flora and fauna – Rottnest Island is home to the majority of Australia’s quokka population – along the way. Take train, plane and automobile tours of the island, or sit back and relax at one of the many restaurants and cafes around town.
Sure, it’s a state, but first and foremost Tasmania is an island – and a pretty breathtaking one at that. Between the rugged wilderness and crystal-clear bays, Tasmania has to be seen to be believed. Wine connoisseurs will love the many vineyards, art aficionados will thrill at the Museum of Old and New Art and historians will marvel at the historic sites that mark important moments in Australia’s timeline. Enjoy an extended stay in one of the larger cities or tour the island by vehicle – you’ll be amazed by just how much of Tasmania you can take in in a short time.